“I say this with respect for peaceful values and reflecting all the colours of every group within our shared humanity. There is a deep sorrow within my heart, created by the wish to take the name of a sultan who has historically signed the orders to persecute a part of our people to destroy emotional bridges between people by building a bridge, and to see it as best to carry out extreme and disproportionate violence on the democratic demonstrations of his own people in Taksim and other cities. A movement I have taken my place in and worked with for years has changed so much in recent times that their fundamentals and the things they say and do can no longer be reconciled with my personality, my world view and my spiritual values. I am leaving my post because [AKP] HQ are putting a strain on society, mistreating an important part of society, and because of their statements which partition us by our spiritual values, a closedness that is unnecessary in a democratic administration, policies of the suppression of alternative points of view, the marginalisation of members of different beliefs, dominated by ideas of contempt.”
– rough and ready translation of lawyer Mehmet Soyuk’s resignation letter from the AKP. Soyuk is a lawyer from Iğdir and was the party director for that region. The bridge he mentions is the newly started “Yavuz Sultan Selim” (Selim I) bridge, which is named after a sultan accused by historians of massacring Alevis (a religious minority still important in modern-day Turkey).